Picture of John Bernatovicz

Article by: John Bernatovicz — View more articles by John Bernatovicz

Posted on: April 22, 2019

Relationship building with your HCM vendor partner

Due to Willory’s work  in the HCM market place we often get asked how to create an effective relationship with an HCM vendor partner. At Willory we work with optimizing our clients' current HCM technology, helping them select a new HCM technology through our vendor selection process, and implementing the new HCM technology that is selected.

Not only is our goal for our clients to have functional HCM systems, but to have a positive and beneficial relationship with their HCM vendor partner. Sometimes organizations on the same technology for an extended amount of time feel as if they’re at a standstill because their relationship isn’t as strong as it should be. We also see that newer relationships take time and commitment to feel good.  I have found there are two cornerstones to set the foundation for your relationship: setting expectations and communication.



Set Expectations

When building a professional relationship, the first thing you should discuss are both parties’ expectations.. Sometimes this is covered in the contract.. However, as most of us know contracts are often skimmed and not properly looked at before signing. Don’t let this mistake happen with you and your HCM vendor. Make sure to set aside time to read over and discuss throughout your department as well as any other relevant decision makers at your company.

Once you fully understand what’s at hand you can sit down and review any action items with your new HCM vendor partner. Often taking this to the next step is a service level agreement which covers exactly how their services will be provided to you. This is your chance to be specific to ensure you get off on the right foot. You can both discuss what your normal course of business will be when it comes to uptime, service response, who you work with, etc. Once the expectations are set it is time to jump to probably the most important part, communication.

Communication (Most critical)

Expectations set the groundwork for your relationship and how service will be provided. Communication is the vehicle that will drive your project to success or into the ground. It is important to constantly Some great questions to remember are following.

  1. How are you communicating?
  2. Who are you communicating with?
  3. What is their role?
  4. Are you getting the results you want?

By keeping these four questions in mind you will be able to understand your project and relationship better as you work through the project. Every project will have its challenges and unexpected issues that arise. By maintaining the proper communication, you can maximize success for both parties through these obstacles and achieve your end goals on time and within budget.

Stay up to date

One last piece of advice to tie everything together. You should at least meet every quarter with your HCM vendor partner. This will help create a cadence with both parties and ensure that small issues are addressed to prevent larger issues that could stem from buildup. During these quarterly meetings you should be discussing all items that need to be addressed from a service and technology standpoint. You should also confer the upcoming initiatives of your HR and payroll department to ensure that your HCM vendor can be on board with any changes that are taking place.


Even if you haven’t done this in the past it’s never too late to start. A great way to initiate this process is through doing an optimization or implementation. Willory is always here to help get that rolling for you. If you would like to learn more about our HCM services offerings click here>